The Falcons are taking a serious beating by the hometown fans, rightly so for the most part, and are being given absolutely no chance in the game on Monday Night Football. That too is completely justified. But if all teams throughout the history of sports listened to what should happen, than some of the most memorable moments in sports would’ve never happened. 1980 U.S. Hockey Team vs. the Ruskies? Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson? AFL Namath led Jets beat the NFL Colts in Super Bowl III? Or even the Giants of 2007 being told to not even show up against the 18-0 New England Patriots. Sure, this is only the 7th game of the season and it’s a touch on the dramatic side, but the point is there’s a reason they play the games, so anything can happen.
Draft - Hate to play the 20/20 hindsight game, because drafting any player always carries inherent risks and guesses just like anything else. And no one can ever account for injuries, as is the case with Peria Jerry and William Moore, who both are done for the season, but Chris Owens is perfectly healthy and hasn’t seen a glimpse of the secondary in live action. But take a look at some possibilities to spark some conversations:
24th – Peria Jerry (DT), Falcons
25th – Vontae Davis (Starting CB), Dolphins
32nd – Ziggy Hood (Backup DL), Steelers
37th – Alphonso Smith (Backup CB to Champ Bailey), Broncos
40th – Ron Brace (3rd String DT), Patriots
41st – Darius Butler (3rd String CB), Patriots
42nd – Jarius Byrd (Backup SS), Bills
50th – Mohammed Massaquoi (Starting WR), Browns
55th – William Moore (SS), Falcons
61st – Sean Smith (Starting CB), Dolphins
90th – Chris Owens (CB), Falcons
92nd – Jerraud Powers (3rd String CB), Colts
96th – Keenan Lewis (3rd String CB), Steelers
94th – Ryan Mouton (Backup CB), Titans
119th – DJ Moore (3rd String CB), Bears
Obviously, it’s easy to go back and second guess any picks after the fact, and Jerry looks to a great addition if he can come back healthy, just as Moore and Owens look to be solid additions as well. Add that to the fact that most of the cornerbacks are backups or even 3rd string, but the question is, would they remain there on our defense? The only one that’s tough to swallow: Sean Smith (6,4, 215, 4.5 40-time) and started week 1. To say that the Falcons have gotten no contributions from this draft class is an understatement.
Cornerback Free Agent Signing – A continued look at some off-season cornerback signings to spur some further conversations. As of May 18th, the Falcons were around $20 million under the salary cap. Free agent CB’s:
Leigh Bodden – (6’1, 193); 1 year, $2.25 Million – Patriots Starting CB
Drayton Florence – (6’0, 195); 2 years, $6.6 Million – Bills Starting CB
Andre Goodman – (5’10, 184); 5 years, $25 Million – Broncos Starting CB
Jabari Greer – (5’11, 180); 4 year, $23 Million – Saints Starting CB
Ronald Bartell – (6’0, 206); 4 year, $28 Million – Rams Starting CB
Kelvin Hayden – (6’0, 195); 5 year, $43 Millon – Colts Starting CB
Dominique Foxworth – (5’11, 180); 4 year, $28 Million – Ravens Starting CB
Bryant McFadden – (6’0, 195); 2 year, $10 Million – Cardinals Starting CB
Shawn Springs – (6’0, 203); 3 years, $10.5 Millon – Patriots Starting CB
Some over-paid and some teams got a pretty good deal, especially considering that the Broncos and Saints are both 6-0, and the Patriots are 5-2 after picking up both of their starting cornerbacks off the Free Agent market.
Speaking of Cornerback……. – Can we finally at least see what Chris Owens and Tye Hill have? Granted they may not hold much more help than we currently have, but can it really hurt to find out for sure? Can Jamaal Fudge or Antoine Harris take some reps at cornerback? Just asking.
Bitter Much? – One of the key storylines to the Falcons-Cowboys game was of course Keith Brooking facing his old team after spending his entire career in Atlanta. It was obvious that Brooking more than relished the win over Atlanta, even going as far as flapping his arms like wings when he was 10 feet away from the play. Why the bitterness and anger? The NFL is a business and it was time to part ways, and better for both: the Falcons were able to rebuild and helped re-unite him with his former defensive coordinator and coach in Wade Phillips. He also got to change to a more suitable position as inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. Many players have faced former teams without feeling the need to act bitter. Did he want the Falcons to give him a huge contract just because he did great things in the past and was with the Birds for his entire career? Just ask Richard Seymour about loyalty, he who helped his Patriots to three Super Bowl rings. 2 whole tackles doesn’t merit an MVP performance, and acting like he was the big difference in the game. Many fans wished Brooking the best and may continue to do so. Obviously Brooking doesn’t feel the same way.
Season Prediction Competition Update – A look at who’s doing what in the prognosticating department from our competition earlier in the year after a third of the season is over (missed games in parentheses):
Perfection – 6-0
Russ, MRyan, SPS, WR, sportaree, Ed, Chris, JJ, CBrass
5-1 – Almost Perfection
DW (Bears), Brian Hunt (Bears), Falconforlife (Bears), Birdman (Patriots), Nookah (Cowboys), JWW (Cowboys), Sarah B. (Cowboys), Joseph R. (Cowboys), Boxcarar (Panthers), Ed-Covington (Cowboys)
4-2 – Just Like the Birds
Warbucks (Panthers, Bears), Dean21 (Patriots, Bears), Seminole (Bears, Cowboys), TBird (Dolphins, Patriots)
3-3 – Right at .500
Lil’ Dave (Patriots, Bears, Cowboys), downsouthdirtybird (Patriots, Bears, Cowboys), A.Dylan Thomas (Panthers, Bears, Cowboys), BT (Pats, Niners, Cowboys), D3 (Dolphins, Bears, Cowboys)
Let me know of any errors. By the way, only 11 out of 28 (39%) picked us to beat the Cowboys and 5 out of 28 (18%) thought we’d beat the Patriots.
-Will we shock the NFL world on Monday Night?
-What do we need to do for the big upset?
-Using 20/20 hindsight, who would you have drafted?
-What about the CB’s signed? Who would’ve fit for a reasonable price?
-Will TD have to spend the dough for a FA corner?
-Your thoughts on Brookings “performance”?